This section includes the following sections and Frequently Asked Questions:
- FAQs of interest to operators
- Which kinds of installations need to be inspected?
- Will I be inspected by an inspector at central level (SEI) or at local level?
- How often will I be inspected?
- Which kinds of ordinary inspections are possible?
- What kind of information will be checked during inspections?
- Can non-compliances detected during inspection be solved within a period of time without a misdemeanour, or a mediation procedure or a criminal case being started?
- Which kind of penalties may arise if non-compliances are detected?
- Which benefits arise from implementing an environmental management system (EMS)?
- May decisions taken by inspectors be appealed?
- FAQs of interest to the general public
- I have seen or suspect about an environmental infringement by a company or individual, who should I inform?
- Which information do I have to report about the case of infringement?
- I would like to learn more about the environmental performance of a company, how can I do that?
1.FAQs of interest to operators
1.1.Which kinds of installations need to be inspected?
You (as operator) have to check if the activities you carry out in your installations are included among those listed in the Annex 1 (IPPC-A activities) and Annex 2 (IPPC-B activities) of the Ordinance on determining the activities of the installations requiring an integrated environmental permit, i.e., adjustment permit with an adjustment plan and time schedule for submission of application of adjustment permit with an adjustment plans (Official Gazette of Republic of Macedonia no. 89/05). In case they are included, your installations will be subjected to inspections. If they are not included, you have to additionally check if they are included among the 2 Ordinances defining operations requiring an Elaborate, either issued by MoEPP (Official Gazette No. 80/09 and 36/12) or by the Local Self-Government Units (Official Gazette No. 80/09 and 32/12). If they are included, they will be also subjected to inspections. Elaborates are approved (or not) by the Administration for Environment or by the Local Self-Government Units. All Ordinances mentioned are available at http://www.moepp.gov.mk.
1.2.Will I be inspected by an inspector at central level (SEI) or at local level?
Inspections in installations listed as IPPC-A activities and those subjected to Elaborates issued by the Administration for Environment will be inspected by inspectors from the State Environmental Inspectorate (SEI), as well as for the case of activities listed as IPPC-B which are located inside a nature protected area. Inspections to installations listed as IPPC-B activities located outside of nature protected areas and those subjected to Elaborates issued by the Local Self-Government Units will be inspected by the Authorized inspectors for Environment of the Local Self-Government Units except those located in a protected area, which will be inspected by SEI inspectors.
For waste management activities, to know if you are going to be inspected by an inspector from SEI or from the Local Self-Government Units, please consult the relevant waste management legislation, namely the Law on Waste and related secondary legislation, available at http://www.moepp.gov.mk .
1.3.How often will I be inspected?
For regular (planned) inspections, installations (IPPC-A, IPPC-B and Elaborates) will be inspected regularly with a frequency based on a risk assessment calculated with a specific software (IRAM) used by inspectorates in the EU. The result of this risk assessment is a list of installations with the frequencies (at least 1 visit every 1 to 3 years for IPPC-A) of regular site visits. The frequency will be higher in installations representing the highest risks. The risk is influenced by a set of factors. Operator performance (e.g. compliance behaviour and the implementation of a working Environmental Management System) is taken into account and it therefore determines partly the frequency of inspections. Detailed criteria and description of the IRAM software are given in sections 2.3 and Annex 10 of the Inspection Manual available at http://sei.gov.mk/projects_page_mk.asp?ID=6. In addition to the ordinary inspections, extraordinary or control (follow-up) inspections may be performed, as a function of complaints received, non-compliances detected during inspections, and incidents or accidents occurring in the installations.
1.4.Which kinds of ordinary inspections are possible?
Regarding the environmental topics (air, water, soil, groundwater, waste, noise, vibrations, odour), the following kinds of inspections can be performed:
- Inspections of IPPC installations to verify compliance with the permit, taking into account all environmental topics. Additionally the implementation of the Best Available Techniques (BAT) will be checked for IPPC-A installations.
- Inspections to verify compliance with legislation or specific permits related to one or a few (but not all) environmental topics (e.g. waste).
- Coordinated inspections: during one inspection inspectors from several Inspectorates collaborate with each other, mainly environment, labour, safety (e.g. to installations under the scope of Chapter XV of the Law on Environment on prevention and control of major accidents involving hazardous substances) in order to streamline inspection procedures.
Regular inspections require site visits but in some cases, if the purpose of the inspection is a documentary check, an administrative inspection based on a desktop-study may be enough.
1.5.What kind of information will be checked during inspections?
Physical inspection includes visual inspection, evidence collection and taking samples, to determine if operators comply with the permit conditions and/or applicable legislation. The administrative inspection or administrative check involves the reviewing of all documents to check compliance. When conducting a visual inspection, inspectors will visit key locations and inspect the relevant devices (e.g. emission sources to air and water, filters/ treatment plants, waste storage facilities). In the case of IPPC-A installations the inspection can also focus on equipment considered as BAT such as energy efficiency devices, recycling systems. Evidence includes photographs, statements by employees, documents, etc. Sampling/analysis follows established procedures and protocols and must involve accredited laboratories.
1.6.Can non-compliances detected during inspection be solved within a period of time without a misdemeanour, or a mediation procedure or a criminal case being started?
Operators can solve non-compliances detected by inspectors and included in the decision within the deadline set in it. If solved within the deadline, the corresponding misdemeanour, mediation procedure or criminal case will not be started.
1.7.Which kind of penalties may arise if non-compliances are detected?
If non-compliances detected by inspectors during inspections are not solved within the deadline established in the decision, a misdemeanour or mediation procedure will be started. As established in the Articles 212 f, 212 g and 212 h of the Law on Environment (available at at http://www.sei.gov.mk/page_en.asp?ID=2), misdemeanours are classified into 3 categories:
- For misdemeanours of category I, a fine in an amount of 3.000 € in denar countervalue for the legal person is established, although if certain circumstances concur it could be up to 15.000 € in denar countervalue. Fines for the responsible official and natural persons are also provided in an amount of 500 € to 700 € in denar countervalue. For instance, if in the procedure for verification of measuring devices, no devices and instruments are used or they are not maintained in proper functioning condition, this is considered a misdemeanour of category I.
- For misdemeanours of category II, a fine in an amount of 6.000 € for the legal person is established, although if certain circumstances concur it could be up to 22.000 € in denar countervalue. Fines for the responsible, official and natural persons are also provided in an amount of 500 € to 800 € in denar countervalue. For instance, if monitoring is not performed in accordance with the integrated environmental permit, this is considered a misdemeanour of category II.
- For misdemeanours of category III, a fine in an amount of 70.000 to 100.000 € for the legal person is established, although if certain circumstances concur it could be up to 150.000 € in denar countervalue. Fines for the responsible and official persons are also provided in an amount of 5.000 € to 13.000 € in denar countervalue. For instance, if the emissions of substances determined in the permit are not released in accordance with the specified limit values, this is considered a misdemeanour of category III.
1.8.Which benefits arise from implementing an environmental management system (EMS)?
Besides the direct benefits derived from implementing an EMS, such as a better management of the risk of the installation, it improves the operator’s performance factor when assessing the risk to calculate the frequency of inspections, so that an operator with an EMS will be most probably inspected with a lower frequency.
1.9.May decisions taken by inspectors be appealed?
An appeal may be lodged against the inspector’s decision within eight days from the day of receiving the decision, if no shorter term has been determined by law.
2.FAQs of interest to the general public:
2.1.I have seen or suspect about an environmental infringement by a company or individual, who should I inform?
You should contact 2 places, sending the information described in the following question:
- The sector for inspection of the municipality where the incident took place.
- The State Environment Inspectorate.
2.2.Which information do I have to report about the case of infringement?
You have to complete the template that you can download from this link, and send it to the following email addresses:
- For the case of the State Environmental Inspectorate: email@example.com
- For the case of the sector for inspection of the municipality where the incident took place: please see the list available in this document, and send it to the corresponding email address.
2.3.I would like to learn more about the environmental performance of a company, how can I do that?
- You can visit the State Inspectorate’s website (http://sei.gov.mk) where the inspection acts are published and you can be informed about the inspections performed so far: a summary of the inspection report containing the main findings is published.
- You can also be informed about the company’s environmental conditions (described in the relevant permit) by visiting the website of the Ministry of Environment and Physical Planning (http://www.moepp.gov.mk)
- An insight to company’s releases of pollutants can be found in the Pollutants Release and Transfer Register (PRTR) when it will become operational for Macedonia (http://prtr.ec.europa.eu/#/home).